Coronavirus outbreak

Delta providing kits with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer to crews on Asia flights

Delta Air Lines said it is supplying kits containing items such as hand sanitizer, gloves and surgical masks to crews to use as needed on all flights in and out of Asia amid the coronavirus outbreak

The airline has also started fogging domestic planes overnight to disinfect them.

Atlanta-based Delta has been treating planes arriving from Asia using a fogging technique with a disinfectant. Then on Feb. 29, as the virus spread in Italy, Delta said it began fogging procedures on all flights from Italy to New York and Atlanta.

The airline said it was adding fogging machines to expand the procedure to more international flights to the United States, prioritizing trans-Atlantic flights to the U.S. from markets with reported coronavirus cases.

For domestic flights, Delta in late March announced it will use the fogging technique to disinfect planes overnight.

The airline said by early May, it will fog aircraft before every flight, and said the disinfectant is “immediately safe to breathe and is similar to what hospitals and restaurants use to sanitize.”

At an event in Atlanta, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said he thinks the U.S. government “has acted swiftly” in response to coronavirus.

“Of course, it’s been difficult to understand the full scope of what’s going on in China,” Bastian said. “We made the decision to try to get out of China as soon as we could, return as many U.S. citizens and other travelers back to their home destinations, to get out of China -- which we’ve done over the last few weeks.”

Delta stopped operating its China flights in early February and expected those flights to remain suspended until April 30. The U.S. government put in new stricter restrictions on travel from China, and other U.S. airlines have also suspended China flights.

“I think the best thing we can all do now is let China address this issue and try to keep as much physical distance from the disease as we can,” Bastian said.

Delta donated $250,000 to the Red Cross Society of China, which is providing medical aid and education to help with the containment of coronavirus.

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.
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